If I Can Dream TV Poster Image

If I Can Dream

(i)

 

Hulu's 24/7 reality program woos teens with interaction.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show encourages people to pursue their career dreams. It also notes that it's up to the individual to work hard in order to realize their dreams. Producers subtly stoke drama between participants. The show furthers the idealization of fame and showbiz.

Positive role models

Cast members are aspiring actors, models, and singers, trying to break into the entertainment industry; they come from (slightly) different backgrounds, like a small-town Christian girl who wants to be an actress and a showbiz wannabe from Brazil.

Violence

Some arguing.

Sex

No nudity, but female cast members are shown taking their clothes off and standing in their underwear, wearing bikinis, sitting in bubble baths, or wrapped in towels. References are made to sexual liaisons between the cast members.

Language

Potential for strong language as cast members' egos clash while living in the same house.

Consumerism

Commercials advertising Sephora products, Sprint and Comcast communication services and other sponsors are embedded in the show; links to the product websites appear on the Hulu.com website while the ads are playing. Cast members drive Ford Fiestas and perform in Pepsi-sponsored shows. Magazines like OK!  are visible while references are made to Vogue and other publications.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol (mixed drinks) is sometimes served at venues where cast members performs. Potential for drinking among the young people who are living on their own and socializing together. Oblique drug references.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this earnest online reality series -- which features five twentysomethings trying to break into the entertainment industry -- connects viewers with the show's website that streams nonstop footage of cast members at home. Sometimes this means viewers can see young adults in underwear, towels, bathing suits, etc. Viewers are strongly encouraged to participate in the show, including communicating directly with the show participants, through various online social networks and interactive methods like instant messaging and texting. Advertisements for products and services from Sephora, Sprint, and Comcast are embedded in each episode, while links to the product websites appear on the screen. Watch for the kind of raw language and drinking that usually accompanies reality shows like this.

Kids say

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What's the story?

IF I CAN DREAM is an online reality series featuring five twentysomethings participating in a project designed to give them the chance to make their Hollywood dreams come true. The series, which was created by American Idol mastermind Simon Fuller, follows the aspiring actors, models, and singers as they go on a whirlwind promotional tour around the world before settling into a Hollywood house where they live together. Once there, cameras follow as they network among industry players, go out on auditions, and pose for modeling shoots and promotional opportunities. Their time in front of the camera continues at home, where over 52 cameras record every move. In addition to the 30-minute highlights that appear weekly on Hulu.com, non-stop footage from the participants' home life is streamed on the show’s website so that audiences around the world can watch the drama that unfolds.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The show, which is Hulu.com’s first original program, combines some of the positive energy that comes with dreaming big with some of the expected drama of any reality series. While the cast members do not have to participate in house challenges or fear getting voted out of the house, they do have to deal with egos, insecurities, and other personality issues.

The project certainly opens doors for these folks, but the show’s producers (some of whom appear periodically on camera) clearly note that they are not guaranteed success. But the interactive nature of the show, including the use webchats, and social media outlets like Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook,  to keep connected with audiences will certainly help to make them temporary reality stars, whether or not they make it in Hollywood.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it takes to break into the entertainment industry. What kind of challenges to people face? How many people who try to succeed in Hollywood actually make it? Given that the cast is being given some help, do you think this series offers a real view of what it takes to make a Hollywood dream come true? Should people ever give up their dream of making it big in Hollywood? Why or why not?

  • What do you think about the use of websites on-line social networking tools to promote a show and/or its cast members? Do you think using social networks like Facebook, MySpace, and/or Twitter will get people to like the show more? Do you think watching what people are doing in their homes from your computer should be viewed as entertainment? Parents: check out some of CSM’s advice and tips for managing digital media in your home.  

TV details

Network:Hulu
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:NR
Available on:Streaming

This review of If I Can Dream was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 17 year old Written bydreamreview April 28, 2010

Young people willing to sell themselves out for fame and fortune

I have been watching this show and checking in on the house for a couple of weeks. It is disappointing that these kids are willing to sell their souls for fame and fortune. The language is certainly inappropriate for any age and there is nudity. Kara and Justin are the only ones in the house who aren't willing to sell out.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 3 and 5 year old Written bySierra Filucci March 5, 2010
Adult Written byIce Cat July 14, 2011

Reminds me of the movie: Live In Public.

What amazed me the most was the complete lack of regard for other members who were invited to share this opportunity by some of the participants. Not doing dishes or keeping the house somewhat tidy, waking others with loud music when they were supposed to get sleep in order to do well in their careers. Complete insulation from the real world. I think it was abusive for the producers to insist that there be cameras in the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. These are young people in their formative years and were basically emotionally blackmailed in order to get ratings for a show. I watched all episodes and the ending of the show was rather abrupt. There should have been more focus upon the interviews for roles, etc., and less focus upon parties, in-fighting, peeing in shampoo bottles, etc. Too much of an invasion of these people's lives ... and for what? Did they learn how to be sensitive to other people, act with class as role models. There should have been supervision by the producer from day one ... things got way out of hand early on.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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